Munster Fight Back To Musgrave Park Win
Munster 24 - 9 Bristol Rugby
Bristol Rugby fell to a 24-9 defeat at the hands of Munster in the pre-season friendly at Musgrave Park on Friday evening.
Liam Middleton’s side led 3-9 at the break courtesy of three Adrian Jarvis penalty goals, but the home side hit back after the interval with tries from David Kilcoyne, Duncan Williams and Sean Scanlon.
Bristol – who were reduced to fourteen men when David McIlwaine saw yellow in the second half – matched their opponents for large periods but found clear-cut chances difficult to come by in an attritional affair.
Adrian Jarvis kicked Bristol into a 0-3 lead inside the opening two minutes, before Munster fly-half Ian Keatley leveled the scores with a long-range effort of his own.
In a first half played in greasy conditions, Bristol showed glimpses of attacking promise. Bryan Rennie’s intelligent grubber-kick almost caught the hosts napping and, after a spell of pressure, Jarvis struck his second penalty of the evening to give his side a 3-6 advantage.
Casey Laulula should have scored the opening try of the game when he found himself in acres of space close to the line on the quarter-hour mark, only for the centre to be thwarted by Jon Goodridge’s fine cover tackle.
Bristol lost George Watkins, Bryan Rennie and Mariano Sambucetti to injury before the interval, but Liam Middleton’s side pushed further ahead, courtesy of Adrian Jarvis’ third successful penalty goal.
Munster squandered several opportunities to close the gap before the interval when Ian Keatley failed to find the target with two penalty attempts, leaving Bristol’s six-point advantage intact at the half-time break.
The hosts came out for the second period in determined fashion and turned the encounter on its head inside five minutes. First, David McIlwaine received a yellow card after illegally stopping winger Luke O’Dea in his tracks. From the resulting penalty, Munster kicked to the corner and trundled over the whitewash to score a converted try through David Kilcoyne.
Buoyed by a raft of replacements including BJ Botha and Peter Stringer, Munster extended their advantage to 17-9 with a second try on the hour mark. Duncan Williams capitalized on a forward surge to squeeze across the whitewash, with Keatley slotting the extras.
Munster confirmed the victory late in the game, when replacement winger Sean Scanlon accelerated in under the posts for a converted try, sealing a hard-fought 24-9 victory for the Irish side.
Denis Hurley; Doug Howlett (c), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Luke O'Dea; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; David Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, Stephen Archer; Billy Holland, David Foley; Tommy O'Donnell, Sean Dougall, Paddy Butler.
Replacements: Wian du Preez (for David Kilcoyne, 51 mins), Marcus Horan (for Wian du Preez, 73 mins), BJ Botha (for Stephen Archer, 40 mins), Sean Henry (for Damien Varley, 46 mins), Duncan Casey (for Sean Henry, 73 mins), Brian Hayes (for Dave Foley, 46 mins) Phil Donnellan (for Billy Holland, 65 mins), Dave O'Callaghan (for Paddy Butler, 40 mins), Barry O'Mahony (for Sean Dougall, 60 mins), Peter Stringer (for Duncan Williams, 52 mins), Scott Deasy (for Ian Keatley, 60 mins), Danny Barnes (for James Downey, 50 mins), John Murphy (for Luke O’Dea, 60 mins), Sean Scanlon (for Doug Howlett, 60 mins).
Jon Goodridge; Ryan Edwards, Bryan Rennie, Luke Eves, George Watkins; Adrian Jarvis, James Grindal; Kyle Traynor, Ross Johnston, Wayne Thompson, Mariano Sambucetti, Glen Townson, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross Johnston, 64 mins), Will Davis (for Kyle Traynor, 66 mins), Bruce Douglas (for Wayne Thompson, 66 mins), Roy Winters (for Mariano Sambucetti, 37 mins), Marco Mama (for Mitch Eadie, 56 mins), James Merriman (for Iain Grieve, 56 mins), Tom Slater (for James Grindal, 66 mins), Tristan Roberts (for Adrian Jarvis, 66 mins), Jack Gadd (for Bryan Rennie, 33 mins), David McIlwaine (for George Watkins, 10 mins).